Twitter Pitches! Post & Help Your Peers With Your #PitMad Pitch Here, Y’all!

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Hey there! I don’t have time this month for much critiquing as far as queries or manuscripts go, but I’d love to help out with your Twitter pitch for #PitMad hosted by Brenda Drake on September 9, 2014! Assuming your manuscript is ready to query agents, #PitMad is an awesome and super fun opportunity to get the attention of an agent.

There are a lot of posts out there on Twitter pitching, so check the hashtag but definitely check out these posts:

For the #PitMad 411 via your host, the incomparable Brenda Drake

Ultimate Writers’ Guide To Twitter Pitch Contests via literary agent Carly Watters 

So go ahead & post your pitch in the comments section, for free help from your peers. Be sure to help out others who are looking for feedback and critique on theirs as well. Also: help can be quite subjective–not all crits are truth and musts, so do what feels right. But be open to critique. New eyes on your work can be a gift.

It should be basic “do unto others” logic but I’ll just write it: If you’re getting help on yours, go ahead and help others too. Don’t be the jerk that gets a bunch of help and never looks at anyone else’s pitch!

So go for it. Post your pitch or what you’re trying to work with and I (and everyone else who wants to swing by and help) will do our best to get you a pitch that will get requests! 

Remember: You only have 140 characters. Make sure you include category & genre. YOU MUST include the hashtag #PitMad or no one will see your pitch, but you and your followers. Compose your tweet, then copy and paste it over here. Just make sure you don’t accidentally send your working pitches as actual tweets. #PitMad is September 9, 2014. 8PM until 8PM. EST.

Post your pitch in the comments and use reply from that particular comment/pitch to respond to or tweak your own pitch.

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56 thoughts on “Twitter Pitches! Post & Help Your Peers With Your #PitMad Pitch Here, Y’all!

  1. I’ve got two I’m thinking of alternating right now.

    Instead of hanging w/his gf, 16yo Adam’s being ripped up by monsters. Now he must find the philosopher stone to save him. Or else. #PitMad

    16yo Adam’s life is suddenly SMALLVILLE meets BEAUTIFUL CREATURES when his mama makes him Immortal with a philosopher’s stone. #PitMad #YA

    • I like the idea of going into PitMad with a couple pitches. I do think the first one needs something else unique from your ms added & to do that you can omit “or else” since it’s so vague.
      The second one is cool–some people don’t like comps but I think it’s a great way to show what your ms is like. Two great comps here but maybe you might try tweaking this bc the “immortal with a philosophers stone” just doesn’t stand out enough for me. BUT really that’s probably subjective—hope to get some other thoughts on here! 🙂
      Keep working these, especially the first. I’m excited to see how you do! 🙂

      • Instead of hanging w/his gf, 16yo Adam’s being ripped up by monsters. Now he must find the philosopher stone to save him. Or else. #PitMad

        I’m intrigued by ‘instead of hanging out w/his gf’. Most boys that age want to do nothing but that, so it fees like a good hook, and a great way to intro your character.
        The catalyst is being ripped up by monsters but what I feel is missing is how that links to the philosophers stone to form a clear goal for him. How does the stone save him? Why is it important to him? So although you have his goal in terms of ‘must find’, it probably lacks specifics. The stakes are ‘or else’, and I feel this is too weak, its hard to get an emotional connection without them being stated more clearly. Why should we care about his situation?

        I’ve struggled to write my own tweet pitch, so I know how hard these are to write, especially when you have the whole wonderful story in your head, and you have to leave out so much!

        I’m not very good at comp titles so I can comment on the second one, but I know some agents really love them.

    • I’m gathering that the philosopher’s stone is pretty important in this story, but like Ami mentioned it’s not something that I’m connecting with, or intrigued by. I’m more interested in knowing what the ‘or else’ is. Or what type of immortal he is, you mentioned his g/f, is he hiding his immortality from her? is she a big part of the story? Maybe combine the two to make something more along the lines of ‘ 16yo adam has to _____ (give up something?) when his mama makes him immortal… then indicate what he can do to fix things? good luck. 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback everyone!

      I’m thinking of changing the first one to:

      Instead of basketball and hanging w/his gf, 16yo Adam has to find the stone his mama used to make him Immortal—or go to Hell. #PitMad #YA

      • It sounds like you have a great concept, and the key aspects of that are coming through in this tweet pitch but I think a little more of his emotional journey needs to be included. Tell us why we should care about Adam.
        What is the catalyst for the story? What has happened to Adam that means he has to find the stone? Why is going to hell bad for Adam?
        For example (but appropriate to your story of course): Instead of hanging w/his gf, 16yo Adam’s life is about to end. He must find an immortal stone or hell will swallow up his g/f #PitMad #YA
        Keep at it, I think you’re very nearly there 🙂

      • This one made me smile–the “or go to hell part.” : ) So I actually like that bit. I would say to maybe give it a try on #PitMad day once or twice. It might appeal to agents that would think it’s clever and are looking for this type of book.
        On the contrary, that part makes me think “Is this another angel demon story?” Those are a really tough sell right now. So, I’m torn! I think it’s catchy but it also puts you in that box. That’s why I would use it once or twice and see how it does! Claire makes great points about trying to make an emotional connection with your pitch.

  2. Okay *welp* here goes noth’n… #PitMad A drug problem & a girl problem collide leaving Scott w/o a girl & w/ a needle in 1 hand & the chance at a new life in the other #A

    • Don’t be nervous!! This is the easy part. 🙂
      So this story sounds great–right up my alley. Something I’d read but it’s too vague. As it stands, you could be describing a lot of books. Kind if an easy fix though–let’s add some stuff from your book in there. Does this book start from Scott’s rock bottom? What happened? What specifically does he need to change for–who?
      Try a couple versions of a new pitch w/specifics and we’ll take it from there! It’s tough bc you don’t have a lot of room but brainstorming is good. You have time!Hope this makes sense. 🙂

      • I could answer all those questions….in 3 or 4 tweets. 🙂
        It starts at the beginning of rock bottom, then he comes up…then a series bad things happen, and unbelievable things, and that is what makes him realize he needs to change, for himself. Not enough characters in a tweet!!

      • So how about a unique detail about the rock bottom and a specific about one the things that makes him want to change or else he’ll end up something or other. Pseudo example: Scott wakes up w/out his college sweetheart, next to a dead body, & he still hasn’t hit rock bottom. If Scott can’t ditch the needles & deal w/his addiction, he’ll lose more than his girlfriend/house/life??
        Ok, so I’m aware that’s a bit much and long but just wanted to give an idea of adding “unique to your ms details” to make it stand out from the pack. 🙂
        Keep working it!!

    • Very intriguing Shannon! I wonder if you can break the details off. I sort of get caught in the middle around w/a needle. Maybe:

      Problems w/ drugs & girls collide leaving Scott w/o a girl but w/ a needle and the chance at a new life. #PitMad #A

      This is only 115 characters so you still have a little room to personalize 🙂

      • Wow thanks so much!
        I came up with this before reading these extra replies but I’ll keep working:
        #PitMad Scotts heroin prblm mixed w/ his g/f trbls lead 2 loss of his luv & 4ce him 2 choose btwn family or the only way of life he knows #A

      • or!! This
        #PitMad after an accidental OD Scott tries 2 adjust 2 sobriety; finds & loses a g/f & is on the edge if relapse when he meets his brother #A

      • I couldn’t seem to find a way to reply to your additional comments. Hope this doesn’t ruin the flow of posts!

        #PitMad Scotts heroin prblm mixed w/ his g/f trbls lead 2 loss of his luv & 4ce him 2 choose btwn family or the only way of life he knows #A

        I’m not a fan of so many shorthand words, it makes it kind of hard to read quickly.
        Instead of ‘Scotts heroin prblm mixed w/ his g/f trbls’, is there a specific event that triggers the loss of his g/f? Something like: When Scott finds g/f kissing another, he ….
        What is Scott’s goal in the story? This tweet pitch doesn’t make that clear, which means the stakes are a little vague too.

        #PitMad after an accidental OD Scott tries 2 adjust 2 sobriety; finds & loses a g/f & is on the edge if relapse when he meets his brother #A

        This one includes the inciting moment, the OD.(that’s a strong hook, I care about him already) It also hints as his goal, to get clean (another good reason for me to care about Scott, now I’m rooting for him). But I’m finding the ‘finds & loses a g/f’ a bit confusing because it doesn’t seem to relate to Scott. Does she give him an ultimatum? Did she not like the clean Scott? Then I’m intrigued by the brother. Did he lead him astray? Again, try and be a little bit more specific with the stakes at the end.

        Tweet pitches are so hard but I think you’re close. I try to keep this in mind: Choose the 4 key specific elements of the story, (Main Character/Catalyst/Goal/Stakes) and then play with them, combine them using your unique voice, ensuring a focus on the MC’s emotional journey.

    • I really like both of your new pitches below…intriguing stuff. You can always pitch both (or variations on both based on the good advice from Claire) throughout the day. It’s nice — and effective — to pitch different versions. Good luck! 🙂

      • Thanks everyone so much for your input and help!

      • Claire is right. Too many abbreviations make your pitch look jumbled and break up the flow. You want something tight and catchy–besides being an easy read–it makes it look like you’re a pro at this. ; ) But I really like where you’re going with these! Also, Claire you are on point with your pitch crits! I’m so glad you’re here to help! (yaaaaay!!)

        I wanted to give it a try but I think I need to know more about Scott. I still have 46 characters left but my start was: The past & the desire to pick up a needle collides when Scott runs into his brother. #PitMad A
        Maybe work with something like this while adding some more detail to show more character in your story. Keep going bc I want to see this on the shelves someday! ; )

  3. Well, what the heck, I guess I’m game for any advice: Is it true her dad’s not dead? 11yo Lauren sneaks into the library vault to find out; but there’re more secrets than she realizes #pitmad

    • Most people advise against questions but (IMO) I think your opening grabs attention and even has a touch of voice in it. Others might disagree. That’s why I like using a couple pitches throughout the day. 🙂
      “There’re more secrets than she realizes” is a little awkward so I’d suggest rewording. You can also create another pitch with a variation of this one: try switching the last line out with something more specific and/or tell us something more about Lauren.

      • Is it true her dad’s not dead? 11yo Lauren sneaks into the library vault to find out; but there’re more secrets than she realizes #pitmad

        I agree with the last post, this opening question works as a hook, but a lot of people do advise against it, its a personal decision I guess. If you wanted to play around with some alternatives, you could try something like:
        11yo Lauren can’t believe her dad is dead. She must sneak into the library to —– or —– will happen.
        Is there a word you could add about Lauren? Is she a loner, a popular kid at school etc. Her dad being dead is a good catalyst for her actions, I like that. Sneaking into the library is a good goal. Then all you need to do is add the stakes. What will happen if she fails to achieve her goal? Can you fit in a hint about what the family secret is?

        Sounds an intriguing MG story. Don’t forget to add an #MG tag as well, so agents who do searches get to see your tweet pitch.

    • I don’t mind the questioning in the open either, but I’d condense to give it a little more punch:

      Dad’s not dead? 11yo Lauren sneaks into the library vault to find out. She discovers… (insert more specific stakes here).

      This way the question reads less rhetorical, more as Lauren’s thoughts. And it gives you a little more room to add stakes at the end 🙂

  4. Thanks a TON for doing this! Nervous, too! But here it goes…
    1859 London: 20yo Kat falls in love with a healer of the mad then finds her life entangled in insanity. #PItMad hist. romantic suspense
    OR
    In 1859, 20yo Kat visits Bethlem Royal Hospital, one of London’s homes for the mad, to spend time with her new love. #PitMad hist. rom. susp

    • Oooh. This sounds intriguing. What’s the category your querying it as? Adult or are you going NA?
      “Healer of the mad” & “homes for the mad” sound voicey which is good HOWEVER it did take me a double read to see what you meant. Could you use insane asylum or just asylum?
      This pitch is unique bc of the story itself so that’s a positive but I would also encourage you to try to work the stakes or specific conflict–as the first one does with “entangled in insanity.”

    • Ooh. Love the first one especially. Definitely sounds like something I’d read.

      The second is close for me. But I’d like a better sense of what Kat has to lose. If you condensed to:

      1859, London: 20yo Kat visits Bethlem Royal Hospital, home for the mad, to spend time with her new love. #PitMad #A (115 characters) you’d have a little more room to work with.

      Personally, I’d drop the histor. rom. susp. from both and just go with #A which is what agents will use to filter. I think the genres can be ascertained through the pitch itself. It also gives you a little more room 🙂

    • This caught my interest too! Although I’m wondering why she went there in the first place? Did she meet her new love elsewhere and just goes there or was she visiting family and saw him working? I’m also wanting to know more of the suspense side of it…what crazy things are happening there? I think that if you replace the full name with just asylum as mentioned in a previous comment it would give you a lot more room to address other things.

      • I love the advice from all of you! Thanks so much!! So grateful for the community of writers who cheer each other on. I’m working on condensing and also adding stakes. What do you think of this revision?
        1859 London:Falling for a dr. of the mad may cause Kat to lose family she’s trying to keep intact & also entangle her in insanity.#PitMad #A

      • 1859 London:Falling for a dr. of the mad may cause Kat to lose family she’s trying to keep intact & also entangle her in insanity.#PitMad #A

        Your latest tweet pitch sounds very intriguing but it leaves a few questions unanswered. Is it possible to be specific about what ‘keeping family intact’ and ‘entangled in insanity’ actually means? It would be nice to see a hint of the events underneath these statements, especially how they relate to Kat.
        I also wonder if there is a word you can add to describe Kat? As its 1859 London, is she a lady, or a maid etc. Just one word to give us more of an image of who she is.
        I’m not keen on Dr.of the mad. If you can use asylum, I think its clearer and conjures very powerful imagery.

      • I’m wondering if there’s a way to specify what the suspense angle is even more. Why would she lose her family and what is causing her to get entangled in insanity? Is there a mystery in the asylum–are there some shady characters the healer works with–is he caught up in some admin politics? If you can do a pitch that shows that, I think it would do really, really well. : )

  5. I know it’s late so here goes… 13yo survivalist Bryce can’t wait for his epic adventure. But all plans go downriver when sibling rivalry clouds judgment. #PitMad upper #MG

    Thanks for doing this!

    • I like the sound of this concept 🙂
      Here are some thoughts from me.
      13yo is an upper MG age, so I think you could lose the word upper. But, I’m not experienced in that area so see what others think too.
      survivalist is nice, conjures an image of Bryce in my mind.
      ‘can’t wait for his epic adventure’ is a clear goal, but could you make it a bit more interesting, bags packed or similar, (but better!)
      Downriver is very nice, tells us about his adventure and that its not going to go smoothly!
      I feel some stakes are missing though, there’s a hint of a bad decision with the words ‘clouds judgement’, could you be more specific?

    • This sounds super fun! I love that you have “survivalist” on there bc right away that sets your MG apart. The rest is where you can get creative and to the point! Throw in where he’s going-a specific state or river? Are his siblings jealous/scene stealing/vindictive/uber-competitive? Are they all vying for the attention of his feuding/limelight loving/granola crunching/goofy parents? Also don’t be afraid to give away some plot–are they rafting without paddles? Stuck in the middle of somewhere without their parents and limited food? What actually is the predicament they get caught in?
      I agree that you can lose “upper.” but if you want, you can add genre: MG Adventure (abbrev) or MG contmp maybe?
      Good luck with this–I think with a reworked pitch, you’ll do really well!

  6. Here goes…
    I’ve finally finished a few possibilities, and I would appreciate all your thoughts, condensing your story into 140 characters is so hard!

    When bracelet casts mixed-race Rayna into lost land, she defies all the rules to escape, before 200yo mage kills her family #YA #UF #Pitmad

    17yo mixed-race Rayna is cast into lost land & finds a bff, who she must desert, to stop 200yo mage intent on killing her family #YA #Pitmad

    Ordinary mixed-race girl, town bullies, magic bracelet, trapped in lost land & 200yo mage intent on killing her family #YA #UF #Pitmad

    Mixed-race Rayna finds refuge in magical lost land until a were-cat traps her. She must outwit him to survive & free father #YA #UF #Pitmad

    Many thanks

  7. Sounds interesting! I really like the last pitch. It seems to show what Rayna’s up against and gives a great reason to read it. Nice premise! Good luck!

  8. I think you’re doing a great job of finding the things to make your ms standout! The elements that pop out as unique to me are the were-cats and the magic bracelet. I am also wondering about Rayna being mixed race. Is this something part of the story–is it one of the things she’s bullied for? If this is something that is explored in your novel, I think being biracial is a selling point, since publishers and agents are seeking out diverse stories. Maybe you could even use Diverse #YA F?
    I am also a sucker for trying to add voice to a pitch. It’s tough to do, but if you can do it, it’s a nice touch that can sell.
    Maybe something like: (forgive me if a detail is not in your story but you get the point!):
    If new kid Rayna can’t work a magic bracelet to fight a were-cat & jerk classmates, she’ll lose her family to a mage. #PitMad YA F Diverse

  9. You’re welcome. And thank you–you’ve been a great help to others with your feedback. Wishing you the best of luck w/PitMad & getting Rayna (and that were-cat!!) out into the world!!

  10. This is my first time hearing about/participating in #PitMad and I’m not really sure how it works but here goes:

    Duty & desire explode for SS guard, exposing horrors & destroying a woman’s life. But revelations secure future for unborn son. #PitMad hist

    I am eternally grateful for any and all help because I have no idea what I’m doing. Thank you in advance!

    • Its my first time entering #pitmad too, so you’re in good company 🙂 This sounds like an interesting story. Here are my thoughts.
      I found the word explode to be an odd choice in this context. Do you mean he’s an SS guard who’s bound by his duty but has an irresistible desire for this woman? If so I’d try and find a way to be more specific about that. Does he fall in love with her? Does she seduce him?
      I presume ‘exposing horrors & destroying a woman’s life’ means that his desire/love for her has put her life in danger in some way. This seems to relate well to your main catalyst, and again, if possible I’d try and be specific. Is she tortured? Ostracised by her family for sleeping with an SS guard? Does she get pregnant by the guard?
      The stakes aren’t very clear and revelations is quite a generic word. What are the revelations? In what way is the son’s future secured?
      A good formula to start from when creating tweet pitches is something like this.
      When duty bound SS guard (1) gets a prisoner pregnant (2), he must risk certain death to help her escape (3) or they’ll kill her (4) #pitmad #A
      (1) This tells us something about the main character
      (2) This is the catalyst that begins the story, the reason that propels the main character into action
      (3) This is the goal the main character is trying to achieve
      (4) The stakes are what will happen if the main character fails at his goal
      Sorry if the details aren’t quite correct to your story but hopefully this example will help with future revisions.
      Also, as its a historical story, you might want to find a way to highlight that by maybe adding a date? Something like: In XXXX duty bound SS guard….

  11. Thank you so much! Others I’ve asked have also said that “explode” and “revelations” are awkward wording. In the story, the SS guard runs away from his post at a concentration camp after a moral crisis. He ends up hiding in a woman’s attic, and it’s more out of comfort than actual love that they conceive a child. They get caught eventually but another guard’s act of kindness saves the woman. I’m not home right now so I’ll be re-working this tonight. Thank you!!!

    • PitMad is a great opportunity. Even for those who don’t get requests because you’ll meet other writers and you’ll also learn how to describe your book in a sentence or two. So valuable.
      Your story is reeeeeeally intriguing but I was even more interested when I read your recent reply. The details make it sound more interesting and unique. (Which has basically been a comment I’ve had for most pitches!)

      • Okay, I spent a couple hours tooling around with it and I think (I hope) I have something more solid that fits the 4 criteria Claire presented:

        When SS guard flees his post, he compromises himself & nearly destroy’s a woman’s life. Act of kindness saves her & their unborn son. #PitMad

      • Brainstorming some ideas: maybe for one pitch (if this works w your story!) you could use this formula:
        When a 1922 SS soldier hides in a woman’s attic & they conceive a child, it’ll take ?.WHAT TO MAKE WHAT HAPPEN/SAVE THEM?? #PitMad AdultHist

  12. This is looking good but still a little vague. I would try to throw something in there about him hiding in the attic & maybe more about the woman. As it stands, the “compromises himself & destroys a woman’s life” bits are too general. Don’t be afraid to get super specific about where & who to bring us deeper into your story.

    • I know I keep changing this but I’m terrible at pitches haha. I feel like this one’s a lot more specific

      #PitMad Hunted Nazi deserter falls in love hiding in Margaret’s attic. When captured, they depend on a guilt-ridden soldier to save them.

      Also I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this help. I’m really nervous about my first go at this.

      • I think you’re getting the hang of these now 🙂 I like your latest version. A few possible tweaks to consider. Remove hunted, its redundant with words like deserter, hiding, captured. Add a date so agents can see clearly its a historical fiction. Add ‘save their child’ to show the stakes are high and give the pitch a twist in its tail. Add #A so agents searching for adult stories don’t miss yours. Replace depend with rely to save on character count.
        1922 Nazi deserter falls in love hiding in Margaret’s attic. When captured, they rely on guilt-ridden soldier to save their child #PitMad #A
        I also think its worth having a play with Ani’s excellent suggestions, once you get the hang of it, a variety of versions, each one shining a spotlight on a unique aspect, becomes easier to create. Good luck tomorrow, I’ll be cheering you on.

      • Great feedback & pitch here, compliments of Claire! Use this one tomorrow too!!

      • I think this is a keeper (as long as you also pitch a version that mentions the child!) but you should fit in category or genre so agents will be able to search and find yours if they’re looking for specifically adult and or historical. Also it’s normal to do lots of pitch revisions so no apologies!! And DO use a few different pitches throughout the day. Sometimes you’ll even tweak things during the day as you see what does and doesn’t work with your pitch or with others. 🙂

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